Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are interested in Justin Duchscherer.
The Yankees have been reported to be interested in him, and as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported the other day, Duchscherer held private workouts with two other American League clubs last week. Zrebiec says, however, that the Orioles were not one of them. He is supposed to have another workout soon, however, and the Orioles will be there. Unless someone has their wires crossed, that means as many as four teams are at least curious.
And why wouldn’t they be? He’s likely to be relatively inexpensive. But, if he can stay healthy, he’s likely to pitch really, really well. At least if his short, pre-injury stint from last season is any indication.
Zrebiec adds that Duchscherer would like to be somewhere on the east coast so that he could be near his son, who lives in New Jersey. That doesn’t disqualify the Orioles, but it also keeps the Yankees in play for him even if New York envisions a smaller role for him than would Baltimore.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.